Solidarity March Takes Place in Wooster
This past Saturday, 400 people gathered at the gazebo in downtown Wooster for a Solidarity March.
According to Rev. Kevan Franklin, minister at Trinity UCC of Wooster and organizer of the march, the purpose of this march was to oppose the recent travel ban and support refugees and immigrants.
Rev. Franklin was the main scheduled speaker in the event, and spoke to the crowd on why the march was important. “We can give each other hope and say to one another ‘we are not alone’” said Franklin in his speech.
Another scheduled speaker was WHS student Estelle Shaya (11). As the second speaker, Shaya read the poem inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty to the crowd, emphasizing an importance on the values America was founded on.
“Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door” Shaya read.
After all scheduled speakers gave their speeches, there was an open mic time during which anyone in the crowd who wanted to could speak on the issue.
Among those who took this opportunity were Jim Chatfield, researcher at OSU ATI; William Barnett, student at the College of Wooster; and Juanita Greene, former president of the Wooster-Orrville NAACP. Greene’s primary message was one of equality and acceptance. “You can’t have a rainbow without all the colors,” said Greene to applause from the crowd.
The event brought many people to the town square. Multiple different races and ethnicities were present, as well as different age groups. The ages of those in the crowd ranged from 15 months to 82 years old. The audience included, children, high school students, college students, adults, veterans, immigrants and registered members of multiple political parties.
Standing together on the outside of the demonstration, Wooster City Schools parents Barb Friedhoff and Ann Gastier spoke about the importance of the march.
“Because I teach students of all races, I’m concerned about them feeling safe. They try hard, work hard, and all they want is the chance to be successful in ways other children take for granted” Gastier said.
Rev. Franklin added that the community should keep listening for more opportunities to get involved, including visiting Representative Jim Renacci when he visits Wooster in the coming weeks and other possible protests.